Tuesday, February 05, 2013

remedy for media violence: a proposal

The horror unleashed in December at Newtown CT certainly got the gun-control proposals started. While efforts continue to find a workable solution to the proliferation of weaponry, I would like to offer another sort of proposal, this one taking aim (pardon me) at portrayals of violence in the media, especially in motion pictures.

This idea came to me on the Orange Line from Midway to downtown Saturday night. Station after station featured posters for the next Hollywood action movie. You don't even have to know the plot to know that bullets and explosions will abound, along with a certain wry humor. And the studios hope to net millions and millions and millions from this formula.


How many millions have our governments (local, state, national; county/parish) and schools had to spend to protect citizens from just the sort of chaos unleashed by gun violence? Here in Chicago, the gun violence is just ridiculous, but the city doesn't have the resources to strengthen the police presence that helps keep things just under the boiling point.

You see where this is going.

So, for my proposal: Every bullet that whizzes by on a film, every time that film is projected $1 goes to fund the police in the municipality where the movie was shown? Naturally, it could be be directed to other projects (non-profit orgs like Cease Fire, for instance). That's for others to determine.

Is it enough to have a fee per bullet? What about explosions? $5, maybe? Right now we don't have an explosion problem so much as a madman/gangbanger with a gun problem, so I'm not sure we need to tackle explosions, too. (However, if Hollywood gets tired of being nickel-and-dimed over bullets, though, they may very well move to more explosions, in which case the copycats out there might make a similar move.)

Okay, so I'm not totally serious. Not about the dollar per bullet thing, anyway. But I am serious about filmmakers getting serious about onscreen violence, especially the kind of violence that is the whole point of an action film. Why do they get a free pass in the name of artistic license, when it is everyone else who pays the price?


Kat Mortensen said...

It is of course, not only movies where there is a proliferation of gun-violence. Television is equally to blame.
It dismays me much to see some very good shows ruined by hideously graphic violence.
Witness Super Bowl Sunday's after-game presentation of SHERLOCK ( a favourite in our house) now gone mad with shots to the head, and other graphic methods of killing, not to mention a borderline pornographic opening scene.
All for the football crowd? I wonder.

Sr Anne Flanagan said...

By all means, let's include TV and video games in the proposal! Let no one get away with gratuitous violence i the media!